The two new fall series with the biggest premiere ratings are the first to get full-season orders. ABC has handed drama How To Get Away With Murder and comedy Black-ish pickups for two and nine more episodes, respectively, bringing their first-season orders to 15 and 22 episodes, respectively. The size of HTGAWM’s pickup stems from the deal for star Viola Davis. Like other top movie actors who sign on for broadcast series, including The Following‘s Kevin Bacon, they only agree if the order is limited, so they can also pursue feature projects. No doubt that if it could’ve, ABC would’ve gladly ordered 22 episodes from the red-hot drama.
HTGAWM, part of ABC’s Shondaland Thursday night, opened with a 3.9 Live+same day rating in adults 18-49, and Black-ish started with a 3.3 to finish 1-2 among all new fall series in the demo.
As part of Black-ish‘s full-season pickup, the family comedy is changing showrunners, with Jonathan Groff taking the reins from original showrunner Larry Wilmore, who worked on the original 13-episode order but will depart to focus on his upcoming Comedy Central show.
How To Get Away With Murder, created/exec produced by Pete Nowalk and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, has been the standout this fall. It has been breaking DVR records and, with a monster time-shifting viewing lift, it ranks as the biggest 10 PM drama debut in two years in Adults 18-49.
For Black-ish, the pickup comes after an encouraging Week 3 rating uptick last night as the family comedy also logged the best-ever viewer retention out of Modern Family for any comedy debut.
Thriller How to Get Away With Murder stars Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch, Jack Falahee, Katie Findlay, Aja Naomi King, Matt McGorry, Karla Souza, Charlie Weber and Liza Weil. Betsy Beers and Bill D’Elia also exec produce.
Black-ish stars Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Marsai Martin, along with Laurence Fishburne who executive produces alongside creator Kenya Barris, Groff, Wilmore, Anthony Anderson, Helen Sugland and E. Brian Dobbins.